Weekly Reflection from CPLO and the Jesuit Institute Week of 15 August 2016

by Anthony Egan SJ

Deep within a person’s conscience one discovers a law which one has not laid upon one’s self but which one must obey. Its voice, ever calling the person to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in that person’s heart at the right moment…. For one has in his or her heart a law inscribed by God…. – Vatican II Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 16, 1965

It’s always worth coming back to conscience, that wonderful divine gift each of us has in our selves. Conscience is what distinguishes us from animals, from a herd. It challenges us in our communities to stop for a moment and step back from a dangerous ‘group think’ mentality. It asks: is this decision really serving the common good? Is this consensus really true? And it challenges me, as I go about my daily life, to reconsider my personal decisions and choices: Is this really good for me? For others? Is this really right?


Lord God, give all of us a deeper sense of conscience and a willingness to question the assumptions we make as individuals or a group, so that our actions that follow such reflection may be good for us, good for all, and serve your greater glory.


Fr Anthony Egan SJ
B.A. (Hons), M.A. (UCT), B.A. (Hons) (London), M.Div., S.T.L. (Weston), Ph.D. (Wits)

Fr Anthony Egan SJ has taught, full-time or part-time, at St Augustine College of South Africa, St John Vianney Seminary, Fordham University (on sabbatical) and the University of the Witwatersrand, where he currently teaches at the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics. The author/co-author of a number of books, book chapters, academic and popular articles, he is a correspondent for America magazine, a contributor to Worldwide and writes for Spotlight. He is also a commentator on local and international radio and television. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Helen Suzman Foundation. Extramural interests include Science Fiction, Theatre, Art and creative writing, including poetry.

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